Liz Truss will reveal inside story of her 49-day premiership in new book – including her last meeting with the Queen just hours before monarch died
Liz Truss is to reveal the inside story of her ill-fated premiership in a book which will signal that her political ambitions remain undimmed.
The former Prime Minister will relive her tumultuous 49 days in office in Ten Years To Save The West, in which she will argue that Western governments have been captured by the same ‘Left-wing orthodoxy’ which she blames for wrecking her administration.
The book, due to be published in the spring, will also include an account of her meeting with the Queen just hours before the monarch died.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, on the anniversary of her becoming Prime Minister, Ms Truss offers her most candid reflections ever on her time in Downing Street – and admits that she still ‘struggles to compute what happened’.
Ms Truss also reveals that her formerly close political friendship with Kwasi Kwarteng, who she sacked as Chancellor in the dying days of her time in office, is effectively over.
Liz Truss is to reveal the inside story of her ill-fated premiership in a book which will signal that her political ambitions remain undimmed
The former Prime Minister will relive her tumultuous 49 days in office in Ten Years To Save The West, in which she will again castigate ‘Left-wing orthodoxy’ – which she blames for wrecking her administration.
Sitting incongruously beneath a picture of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara bizarrely blended with Lord Nelson – a nod by Norfolk MP Ms Truss to the county’s most famous son – she launches a passionate defence of her own attempted revolution, which died when the markets crashed in the wake of her radical tax-cutting Budget.
‘I was pushing against a system and against an orthodoxy that was gradually moving to the Left,’ she says, singling out the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility as she recalls the ‘seismic’ period.
But did she not contribute to her own downfall?
‘I’ve said before that I made mistakes on things like communication and execution, but the fundamental problem was there wasn’t enough support for Conservative ideas,’ she says.
‘Frankly by the time I became Prime Minister it was probably too late. As a party, had we done enough to lay the ground and really change the architecture, if you like, that Blair and Brown had left behind? No, I don’t think we did do enough.’
Explaining that she had become exasperated by often being ‘the only Conservative in the room’ at international summits, she says that the ‘global Left’ were in control. ‘Ideas like redistributionism, business being bad, the anti-growth people like Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil – those are the ideas that have made the running in the last decade,’ she says.
‘If you look at the knots in which people tie themselves in Western politics about whether somebody with a penis is a man or not, it shows how effective unfortunately these people have been.’
Ms Truss, 48, also highlights the fact that under Rishi Sunak, taxes are at their highest level for 70 years – a criticism which outgoing Tory MP Nadine Dorries also made in her explosive resignation letter last month.
‘I agree that taxes are too high and the Government is too big,’ she says. ‘We have got a bigger Government now… we are not going to get a dynamic economy if half of every pound spent is being spent by the Government.’ She also agrees with Ms Dorries that it was wrong to remove former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Liz Truss, 48, also highlights the fact that under Rishi Sunak, taxes are at their highest level for 70 years – a criticism which outgoing Tory MP Nadine Dorries also made in her explosive resignation letter last month
Liz Truss’s biographer James Heale wrote that top civil servant Simon Case’s memo sealed her fate as Britain’s shortest-serving PM
‘That was fundamentally the wrong thing to do,’ she says. ‘He’d been elected leader of the country by the electorate and I think that’s caused us huge problems.’
Ms Truss is aiming her argument – and sales of the book – as much at America as Britain, where Donald Trump is dominating the run-up to next year’s Presidential election.
‘We need to get a Republican back in the White House,’ she says. ‘I really fear for the future of the West. We have seen very slow growth for several decades and our culture is being questioned, even basic things like human biology.
‘The same thing has happened across the Western world. At one G7 meeting I thought, actually I’m the only Conservative in the room here – you’ve got Biden in the US, Trudeau in Canada, Macron in France.’
She adds: ‘I suppose I asked the question: Why is this the case? Why is it that despite having been a Conservative MP for 13 years, despite Conservative ideas having been proved right time and again, why is it that the Left have been making the running?
‘You’ve got the global Left which Biden is obviously a key part of, but also the global environmental movement, the Greta Thunbergs of this world, the anti-capitalist movement, and they have been very effective in pushing what is politically acceptable.’
As for the UK, she says: ‘What we have seen over the past 30 years is the huge growth of the administrative state in Britain.
‘A lot more power is now held by independent bodies such as the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Bank of England and the Environment Agency than was the case 40 years ago.’
Last autumn’s turmoil – which is now being turned into a TV drama – has left its psychological scars.
‘I still can’t believe it; I still can’t believe it,’ she repeats.
‘I struggle to compute what happened. Particularly what happened to the Queen. It was extraordinary and it also came off the back of being Foreign Secretary with the first war on European soil kicking off earlier that year, so 2022 was an extraordinary rollercoaster, extraordinary.
‘The whole period from 2010, there have been a lot of “pinch me” moments.’
Asked about Rishi Sunak’s (pictured) brand of conservativism, Truss deferred to Thatcherism and said: ‘What I think we need now is that Conservative movement revival’
The episode has also brought a chill to her years-long friendship with Mr Kwarteng, who she fired in a last-ditch attempt to avert her demise. Asked whether they are are still in text contact, she says: ‘Occasionally. I’m not speaking to him that much.’
The book is misty-eyed about the 1980s axis between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and the end of the Cold War.
She says: ‘Once the West won the Cold War, we became complacent. We thought that economic growth was going to happen anyway, that all of the difficult decisions have been taken in the 1980s – that we don’t need to carry on taking those difficult decisions.
‘Since that period the economies have become less dynamic, less competitive and I think we have also lost some of the West’s self-confidence that our way of life, the way that we govern ourselves, is actually better than authoritarian regimes.’
But would Lady Thatcher have supported Rishi Sunak’s brand of conservatism? There is a long pause before Ms Truss says: ‘That’s not really the question I’m trying to answer in this book. If you look at Thatcher and Reagan, there was a big intellectual movement behind them.
‘So, what I think we need now is that Conservative movement revival.’
Asked who she would like to see as the next US President, Ms Truss will only say: ‘I would like to see a Republican in the White House. I’m not going to comment on which Republican.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that what Biden is doing is damaging the United States economy by pursuing huge subsidies, huge spending, raising taxes and now trying to impose this on the rest of the world through the OECD Minimum Tax Agreement.
‘It’s not good enough for Biden just to have a socialist economic policy in the US, he also wants to export that socialist economic policy to Europe and to the United Kingdom.’
Ms Truss, who spent ten years as a Government Minister, also refuses to predict the result of the UK election, other than say she hopes for a Tory victory – and dreads a Keir Starmer-Biden double act.
‘That would be very bad,’ she says. ‘It would be doubling down on the policies that aren’t working.’
Ms Truss’s formidable resilience has led many of her colleagues to speculate about a comeback after a suitable interlude. She doesn’t rule it out.
‘I want to stay involved in politics, I really care about politics,’ she says. ‘I went into politics not to become Prime Minister but to change things, that’s what motivates me and I will not rest until we have achieved the changes because I believe that Britain does need real change.
‘I think that can be delivered but I’m not specifying any role for myself in the future.’